United States Entry into World War I: A Documentary Chronology
American foreign policy continues to resonate with the issues involved in the entry of the United States into World War I-unilateralism versus foreign alliances, the responsibilities of power, the influence of the military-industrial complex on foreign policy, the use of force to accomplish idealistic goals. Understanding the choices the Wilson administration made and their consequences provides insight into international affairs in the years since the end of the Great War and beyond.
In this curriculum unit, students reconsider the events leading to U.S. entry into World War I through the lens of archival documents. Students will also find our Smithsonian Learning Lab collections on World War I and Art and World War I to be useful for research and accessing artifacts from and about this era.
What important events led to U.S. involvement in World War I?
What is the most compelling evidence explaining why the U.S. entered World War I?
Identify important events leading to U.S. involvement in World War I.
Analyze the competing perspectives regarding U.S. entry into World War I.
Evaluate the short and long-term effects of U.S. involvement in WWI on domestic and international policies.